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Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Dec.04: 2022:

#AceBreakingNews – Indonesia’s highest volcano on its most densely populated island has released searing gas clouds and rivers of lava in its latest eruption.

A person stands next to a field with smokes from an erupting volcano in the background.
Gas clouds and rivers of lava spew from Indonesia’s highest volcano on the country’s most densely populated island of Java. (AP Photo)none

Indonesian authorities raised the warning on Semeru volcano to the highest level on Sunday, Kompas TV reported.

The evacuation of people living near the volcano in East Java province had begun, a top regional administrator, Thoriqul Haq, told the broadcaster.

Several hundred people were moved to temporary shelters or left for other safe areas, mostly woman, children and elders, said Joko Sambang who heads the disaster management agency in Lumajang, East Java province.

The plume from the volcano reached a height of 15 kilometres, said Japan’s Meteorology Agency, which was monitoring for the possibility of a tsunami there.

Monsoon rains eroded and finally collapsed the lava dome atop 3,676-metre Mount Semeru, causing the eruption, according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari.

Several villages were blanketed with falling ash, blocking out the sun, but no casualties have been reported.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, PVMBG, raised the level of volcanic activity to IV from III, Kompas TV reported.

The centre could not immediately be reached for comment.

The eruption follows a series of earthquakes on the west of the island,including one last month that killed more than 300 people.

“Most of the road accesses have been closed since this morning. Now it’s raining volcanic ash and it has covered the view of the mountain,” Bayu Deny Alfianto, a local volunteer told Reuters by phone.

Small eruptions were continuing and it was raining in the area, he said.

With the higher alert level, authorities warned residents not to conduct any activities within 8 kilometres of Semeru’s eruption centre, Kompas TV said.

The volcano began erupting at 2:46am local time, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, said in a statement.

Videos posted on social media showed grey ash clouds in nearby areas.

Semeru’s last major eruption was in December last year, when the rumbling volcano erupted with fury and left 51 people dead in villages that were buried in layers of mud. 

With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the largest population globally living in close range to a volcano, including 8.6 million within 10 kilometres.


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